Prince William’s Little Known Armenian Roots
By Ashleshaa Khurana
The Times of India
Surat featured nowhere in the week-long tour of the British royals as they wandered through India and Bhutan to see and be seen. For those of you raising a brow to question why it should have, a curious fact is that Prince William is 1/256th Indian and Armenian for that matter by the rare genetic DNA he has inherited.
While the English factory where Eliza Kewark – Prince William’s great, great, great, great, great grandmother first served and then resided has since long bitten dust, and the Armenian cemetery at Surat deteriorates by each passing day.
Surat was the cornerstone of the British Empire rule in India but has little by way of preserved heritage structures to be of any importance to tourists in present times. We do have the diamonds but they have our Kohinoor. We do make textiles but she prefers natural fabrics. So, it is extremely difficult to tempt the very stylish and charming Kate Middleton.
Not much has been written by the local media about the Armenian ancestor of Price William. The surname Kewark comes from the Armenian name Kevork. Books on the history of Armenians in India penned by men of their land state how Armenians often took up Indian women as wives. One story about how an Armenian merchant’s in-laws refused to send their daughter to India even if he paved the entire route from Surat to Aleppo with precious gems is well-known to historians. Fact remains, therefore, that Eliza was half Armenian and half Indian by way of maternal lineage.